Speaker advice needed

AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Getting ready to put 10-12 k in a budget system (starting from ground zero!) and was looking at DT 9080x as the main speakers. However, a sales rep has me looking at the Maggie 1.7 instead. I’ve read reviews that say the 3.7i is a significantly better speaker. But bigger in an unpowered speaker means more power required. My question is that, since hearing that Maggie 3.7 take lots of expensive power, can lesser power get reasonably good sound quality from them? Or, should I stick with a smaller speaker? Any recommendations on these components? Can anyone provide opinion(s) on this?
10-12K is an awesome budget. Definitely plan for a long time. Ask a million questions.

First step is to try and listen to as many speakers as you can, which is a huge challenge with COVID.

Then ask more questions and listen to more speakers. :D
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
C’mon, Shady, why on gods earth would anyone in their right mind want a speaker that only sounds good in a SINGLE position, requires much work to sound great and cost plenty of money when there are so many other choices? :D

I know @PENG and @Irvrobinson and others have already raised this very valid question.
The truth is most speakers can only really image well in a narrow area. For most speakers, you really need equal distances from the speakers to have a proper soundstage. A little too far to the right or left, and the soundstage collapses toward the speaker closest to you. The only real exception is speakers that bank on time-intensity trading, and you need tightly controlled dispersion speakers for that to work.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Really appreciate you comments! I just read a review of 20 speakers that said the Polk L800 blows everything else away in term of sound stage realism. I’m onto something now! Just need to find quality mates for power, media sources, etc. thanks!
In my own experience, reading reviews that don't include measurements are mainly for entertainment, except for those reviewed by a group of people that may help you rule out those that the majority thought were bad, especially when the reviews were done "blind".

In a Harman study, a group of screened/selected people actually rated a $700 sub/sat speaker system higher than a $4,000 one when they did not know which one they were listening to. In sighted tests, the $4,000 one sounded much better to them.

So I suggest you focus on mainly reviews that include measurements first to come up with a short list, and then do you listening test. 6K for a pair is a decent budget, but still large enough amount that warrants some research and do both objective and "subjective measurements".

Science in the Service of Art_1sided.indd (harman.com)
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
The truth is most speakers can only really image well in a narrow area. For most speakers, you really need equal distances from the speakers to have a proper soundstage. A little too far to the right or left, and the soundstage collapses toward the speaker closest to you. The only real exception is speakers that bank on time-intensity trading, and you need tightly controlled dispersion speakers for that to work.
I think all of us agree that most speakers have a "sweet spot". But also most good speakers will sound great in more than a SINGLE position, even if there is one sweet spot.

Based on what has been said/debated in that other thread, I got the impression that these Polk will only sound good in s single position and odd placements.

But are you saying these Polk are just like MOST SPEAKERS and that they will sound great in more than just that one sweet spot? And these Polk don't need weird placement? I haven't even mentioned specific amplifier requirement like single-ended only amps. Seems like a total Pain in the a$$. And they cost a lot of money.

Why even bother? There are other speakers that sound great, measure great, and require a lot less work.
 
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3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
In my own experience, reading reviews that don't include measurements are mainly for entertainment, except for those reviewed by a group of people that may help you rule out those that the majority thought were bad, especially when the reviews were done "blind".

In a Harman study, a group of screened/selected people actually rated a $700 sub/sat speaker system higher than a $4,000 one when they did not know which one they were listening to. In sighted tests, the $4,000 one sounded much better to them.

So I suggest you focus on mainly reviews that include measurements first to come up with a short list, and then do you listening test. 6K for a pair is a decent budget, but still large enough amount that warrants some research and do both objective and "subjective measurements".

Science in the Service of Art_1sided.indd (harman.com)
+1 Well said. Speaker reviews without measurements is simply a subjectively biased opinion and offers very little value. Stick to reading reviews that include measurements and use these to build your list of candidates.
 
MalVeauX

MalVeauX

Full Audioholic
We need both the subjective account and measurements for a good review though. Measurements that measure imaging and sound stage for example, how can that be done properly and be able to relate that in a meaningful way to someone who isn't deeply versed in the magic? You can get great speakers and set them up poorly and get a bad image and wreck a sound stage after all. I prefer to see numbers and graphs so that info is relatable no matter the language. But I do also like to see and hear someone using the numbers and measurements and relating it to how they perceived things psychoacoustically.

Very best,
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I think all of us agree that most speakers have a "sweet spot". But also most good speakers will sound great in more than a SINGLE position, even if there is one sweet spot.

Based on what has been said/debated in that other thread, I got the impression that these Polk will only sound good in s single position and odd placements.

But are you saying these Polk are just like MOST SPEAKERS and that they will sound great in more than just that one sweet spot? And these Polk don't need weird placement? I haven't even mentioned specific amplifier requirement like single-ended only amps. Seems like a total Pain in the a$$. And they cost a lot of money.

Why even bother? There are other speakers that sound great, measure great, and require a lot less headache.
Exactly, I don't mind the fact that the L800 sounds great in that sweet spot but I also want it to sound better (I mean supported also by measurements) than my R900 and 1038Be, BMRs in their current spots that are more or less centered in rooms 12 ft wide, the placed 1.5 to 3 ft from the back wall.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
I think all of us agree that most speakers have a "sweet spot". But also most good speakers will sound great in more than a SINGLE position, even if there is one sweet spot.

Based on what has been said/debated in that other thread, I got the impression that these Polk will only sound good in s single position and odd placements.

But are you saying these Polk are just like MOST SPEAKERS and that they will sound great in more than just that one sweet spot? And these Polk don't need weird placement? I haven't even mentioned specific amplifier requirement like single-ended only amps. Seems like a total Pain in the a$$. And they cost a lot of money.

Why even bother? There are other speakers that sound great, measure great, and require a lot less work.
They are kind of a PIA, but that's the price you pay if you want their kind of soundstage. You just can't get that kind of soundstage with most other speakers, or really any other speakers.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Exactly, I don't mind the fact that the L800 sounds great in that sweet spot but I also want it to sound better (I mean supported also by measurements) than my R900 and 1038Be, BMRs in their current spots that are more or less centered in rooms 12 ft wide, the placed 1.5 to 3 ft from the back wall.
Your other speakers don't image well as a stereo pair outside of an equidistant area from the speakers. That is true of almost any speaker. To be sure, the L800s don't sound bad outside of the sweet spot, they just don't have their imaging abilities outside of that sweet spot- like 99.9% of any other speakers out there.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
They are kind of a PIA, but that's the price you pay if you want their kind of soundstage. You just can't get that kind of soundstage with most other speakers, or really any other speakers.
Have you heard the Linkwitz Orion speakers?

"Soundstage" and "image" are so subjective and also depend on the setup, which could be too much work for people.

I remember reading the reviews on the Linkwitz Orion 3.2.1. Reviewers (The Audio Critic and others) and people were (and still do) claim that these Orions have among the largest soundstage of any speaker. And the Orions do have a good soundstage.

But after spending $9K on those Orions and owning them for a few years, my impression was, "So what if the soundstage is bigger?" :D

The key word here, again, is "SUBJECTIVE". And people will have different opinions on the "audio effects".

People should audition the speakers first to see if they get the same effects before spending money on the speakers. :D
 
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Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Samurai
Room is 14x30 carpet floor not much on walls. What does grab you in the $6 k/ pair range?
Maggie 3.7i would be perfection for that size room. Allowing you to bring them 4-6 into the room, adj toe-in correctly and hopefully you'll have funds to add a sub or two if you feel the need. While I currently do not own di-poles, for 30 plus years I had and enjoyed Maggies and Logans.

and yes, you will need solid amplification. Back in the day I drove my Maggie 3.6's with a Threshold S500, great combination.
 
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PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Your other speakers don't image well as a stereo pair outside of an equidistant area from the speakers. That is true of almost any speaker. To be sure, the L800s don't sound bad outside of the sweet spot, they just don't have their imaging abilities outside of that sweet spot- like 99.9% of any other speakers out there.
Okay thank you for confirming that.
 

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